City in Front Line as the Jobs Cull Spreads; Slashing the Herd: Merrill Lynch Is Looking to Shed 30% of Its Workforce in London
Byline: HUGO DUNCAN, LUCY TOBIN
BRITAIN was hit by yet another wave of job cuts today less than 24 hours after Gordon Brown launched a package to help 500,000 back into work.
Much of the misery was felt in London, where Merrill Lynch and its new owner Bank of America are preparing to axe about 1900 staff in one of the biggest single culls in the history of the City.
The combined firm is looking to shed 30% of its workforce in London with many staff told to reapply for their jobs last week.
Merrill employs 4500 in its European headquarters at St Paul's, while Bank of America has 1700 working in the capital. The cuts are part of a plan to cut between 30,000 and 35,000 people worldwide.
The pain went beyond the City, however, with job losses and potential layoffs announced at a host of businesses ranging from engineering to retail.
SIG, the insulation and roofing materials group base din Sheffield, expanded its closure programme to 80 branches from 65, resulting in 1000 job losses, 100 more than announced in November.
Georg Fisher, the engineering group whose UK operations are based in Coventry, said it was cutting some 340 jobs or 2. …